This is a delightful YouTube video created by Dead Archivist Nicholas Meriwether. †Check it outÖyouíll be glad you did.
First is to be responsive to customers. †The Dead were nearly always responsive to fans from their earliest days in 1965 till the end of the road in 1995.† Fans grew to love their live performances and the Dead became a touring band so fans could see them play frequently rather than simply when a new album was released.† Deadheads have been wishing for the complete European tour since it happened because the band was in rare form throughout the 42-day tour.† Although the Dead released ìEurope í72î a 3-record set in 1973 and several other CDs from the tour have been released more recently, nothing came close to granting the wish and being responsive until this new, complete package.
The second lesson is to embrace technology, something else the Dead always did whether it was in their sound system, lighting or instruments.† Dead.net and Rhino have really followed this lesson by going back to the original 24-track master recordings, carefully digitally remastering them, and then using new technology (plangentprocesses.com) to insure the finest possible listening experience.† Iím a pretty serious audiophile, and these new recordings are spectacular just like the incomparable audio experience I always found at a Dead show where the Dead used technology to insure that everyone in the audience had the best possible listening experience.
The third lesson I recognized providing value to customers.† The Dead intentionally kept their ticket prices low throughout their history to allow fans to afford to see them play.† While the price of this boxed set is very high at $450, it works out to only $6 per CD including shipping.† Thatís less expensive than the Dicks Picks series or the current Road Trips series now being offered.† So the boxed set provides tremendous value despite the high price tag.
The final lesson I observed is to take risks and follow the advice in ìPlaying in the Bandî where Bobby sings, ìSome folks trust to reason, others trust to might.† I donít trust to nothing, but I know it come out right.î† When the boxed set was announced in January 2011, it was a big gamble for Dead.net and Rhino.† With such a high price tag, no one could really predict the demand, and 3,000 copies needed to be sold to break even.† Yet the limited edition of 7,200 copies sold out immediately and many more fans were disappointed to have their orders rejected.† So Dead.net and Rhino took the risk and it paid off showing that sometimes, things do ìcome out right.î
To see all 10 of the lessons I learned from the Grateful Deadís business practices and how your business or organization can benefit from them, you can pre-order my book on Amazon.† It hits the bookstores November 2.
Garcia always claimed he wasnít really the leader of the Dead. †We all knew and the band knew he WAS the leader but his humility and charisma allowed him to create an extremely unusual but successful approach to creating a community of trust and of sharing leadership that offers important lessons for businesses and organizations today. †We say we live in a democracy, but we spend most of our lives at a job where we typically have no vote. †That wasnít true in the Dead organization where EVERYONE had an equal vote.
On November 2, 2011 my new book Everything I Know About Business I Learned from the Grateful Dead: The Ten Most Innovative Lessons from a Long Strange Trip will be published by Business Plus.† The book is my attempt to describe part of my strange trip as I explain some of the unique a remarkable things the Grateful Dead did as a business, and how their business was strongly influenced by their improvisational music.† I hope youíll check my blog from time to time as I describe how dramatically the Dead changed the direction of my life, and how telling the story of their business become a major part of my lifeís purpose.